Being
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It’s Tough Not Being "Off the Cuff"

I have been sitting with my drafts since Friday, tweaking tinkering, playing.  I am reading about how different creatives use their time.  How disciplined they are, the structure to their days and how it makes way for them to be more creatively free…

I am considering posting my topics on schedule.  It does make sense to sit down and exercise discipline.   I must give more energy to these little ideas that flit in and out of my head.  This is my current process:  I am jotting notes down in my 3″x5″ polka dot notebook that I keep in my bag.  I write things down while I talk on the phone if a conversation gets interesting and gives me a starting point for a new topic.  I am keeping a journal in the living room, one in the drawer of my nightstand, one in my bathroom, and one in the second room.  I am using the recording device on Evernote during my daily commute so as not to interrupt the pace of my walk and just get funny things I overhear and think about recorded to revisit later.  I email myself paragraphs.  I have documents on my computer for a book I would like to write.  I am taking more and more pictures.

But given all that, I can only seem to do my best posting… or rather, my only posting, when it is straight off the cuff, in the moment, NOW, not later, not with notes, but NOW.  Yes, I reread it, I edit, I will make sure it is ready to rock, but all in the moment.  Not looking at yesterday’s notes or revisiting something I started last week, but just thoughts from today, within the same session of my sitting here.  It’s what works for me.  I wish it were different, but it’s not.  Not yet.

I started noticing a big change in priorities a few weeks ago.  I would rather give myself time to think, note take, and work on writing than do anything else.  I am not even putting out more on the blog, though I feel like I am always working on it.  I am certainly losing money by not working regularly at my part time job, but isn’t what I am doing now work as well?  I may not be getting paid to write/ blog, but I am being bold. brilliant. beautiful. by owning the fact that yes, this… what I am doing is work.  Work I like.  Work I want to get good at.  Work I want to put out there.

So going back to what I was saying, YES!  It is tough not being ‘off the cuff’.  I already know while writing something whether or not I will hit ‘publish’ for it.  In the midst of the first few sentences,  I will start apologizing to the post mid way, “I really don’t know where I am taking you”, or “Hey, there’s a funny stuff there, but it all seems so premature.”  Or just last night , “I am sorry but I can’t hear myself think anymore over the crunching of lentil potato curls, plus my fingers are too covered in edamame hummus to continue.  Let’s touch base after I eat this piece of salmon at 10:30 pm, okay?”

Usually I will get THE post.   It’s the kind of post that I don’t want to get off of the couch from just yet.  It’s like the post that I continued writing on my iPhone while in the car with my in-laws heading out of town for lunch;  like the post that made us an hour late because I just had to finish it before starting our day;  like the post that made me ignore my screaming nephew at 11pm because I was in a zone;  like the post I coughed up while waiting on a bar stool to pick up lunch; like the post that gave my legs pins and needles from the squatting position I started writing it in and just couldn’t move to get up until I hit “publish”.

This is also the kind of post that really had no middle or end in sight when I started,  and is just something I thought of writing to clear my head and warm up the keyboard.  Mind you, these posts aren’t necessarily popular or serious, but when they had to come, they had to come.  I think of them like those babies that come as the result of a one night stand.  Who knows what on earth that hot mess of an encounter was about, but that child was meant to come out of it.   I never know what many of my posts are going to mean, and yet, here we go, I am going to post yet another one that I am unsure of but sure of at the same time.  I’m just gonna go for it, even if nobody reads this.

2 Comments

  1. This is SO interesting that you posted this today because I've been going through something similar. I just had to sit down and try to muddle through why I write, who I blog for, and to realize that the posts I love are the ones that I write. Not the ones that I don't because I'm waiting for them to be perfect. And those ten steps are EXACTLY what I needed to see and your words were like a high-five to my own jumbled brain (though yours seems less jumbled.) Keep on writing girl. If you enjoy it, you need to keep following that passion. (And you should because it's actually enjoyable for us, especially now that I can imagine the writer beyond the screen! ;))

  2. Hi Christina! I have to tell you that when I first read this comment I was smiling from ear to ear. Now that I have reread it, I still am! Thank you for the encouragement! We are in this writing game together, jumbled brains and all.

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